Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

Mingling with Mermaids: Diving Into Grenada’s Culture

[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”20872686″]

On our first full day in Grenada, we did a whole lot of nothing but enjoy the property, our home for seven nights: Villa Solitaire. After all, if you were staying here, would you want to leave? I thought not.

Vacationing in Grenada: Where to Stay, What to Do

But around midday, we did finally rouse ourselves from a sun-drunk haze to head into St. George’s, as our gracious host had booked us on the ultimate of Grenada excursions: a boat tour out to the underwater sculpture park!

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

Images of these soldier-like sculptures poised upright underwater have cropped up on my social media feeds since construction began in 2006, and I had always wanted to dive with them. Only, we couldn’t find a dive boat with availability on the day we needed—I blame those cruise ships who take up all the spots on the tours!—but we found something even better: British expat Howard Clarke who runs Grenada Seafaris Powerboat Adventure, one of the coolest ways I’ve ever ventured out into the sea.

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

We met our guides at Coconut Beach, and were pleased to find that the six of us—five big kids and a baby—had the boat to ourselves, save Howard and our noble guide, Albert.

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

We boarded the powerboat and took our seats cowboy-style, as if riding a horse, before Howard sped off into the wake.

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park
Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

Located in the Moliniere Beausejour Marine Protected Area, the sculpture park was created by English artist Jason de Caires Taylor, who is both a sculptor and an avid diver. Molinere Bay was damaged by storm surge from Hurricanes Ivan (2004) and Emily (2005), and according to Seafaris, the sculptures were designed to assist in the regeneration of the area by providing habitat for marine animals to live and by providing new surfaces for corals to grow upon. The park has played an important role in regenerating this area and has given it a new dimension.

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park
Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

Seafaris also played in a part in the evolution of this park by sponsoring a series of 14 sculptures that were based on Amerindian art, and in 2011, the Grenada Board of Tourism commissioned “Christ of the Deep,” which reminded me so much of the iconic Jesus figure perched high above Rio de Janeiro, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the sinking of the Bianca C, the most popular wreck dive on the island.

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

I love how committed this island community is to preserve its underwater ecosystem, particularly after reading recently about the extreme reef bleaching epidemic that has arisen as a result of global warming (excuse me, climate change). As a diver, it’s sad to see our reefs dying off at an alarming rate, and I’ll always be in support of projects like Molinere that aim to reverse that in some small way.

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

Today, more than 65 sculptures stand guard over the marine life of Molinere, located just north of Grand Anse and St. George’s.

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Parkt
Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park
Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

SVV, actual merman, had no trouble free-diving 40 feet and skimming the ocean floor as he snapped away with the GoPro.

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park
Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

For me, holding my breath doesn’t come as easy, so I’d run out of steam the second I reached the bottom.

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

In that respect, it would have been fun to scuba dive with the sculptures simply to have more bottom time.

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

The water was pretty murky the day we were there, heavy with sediment, so our photos aren’t as crisp as I would have liked. But I think it actually adds to the eeriness of the setting, wouldn’t you?

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

On the way back to the boat, we snorkeled through the shallower waters and were rewarded with schools of playful silver baitfish creating barriers between us and the nearby rocky coast.

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park
Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

After an hour or so, we all climbed back on the boat, and Howard and Albert took us into the harbor of St. George’s. Given that we ran out of time and never actually made it in to the capital (on land, at least)—how is that possible with seven days in one place?—I’m so glad we got this brief tour of the city from the water.

A Tour of Grenada with Seafaris

Tours of the West Coast and sculpture park with Seafaris run $75 an adult, with kids 50 percent of that price, and last around three hours (Augustine being a baby got to ride for free). Albert also tells of Grenada’s volcanic origins and shows passengers the marine life they may encounter, which include turtles and dolphins. It’s worth every penny, too—a historical tour of the downtown, in addition to a snorkeling excursion and a high-adrenaline speed race on the powerboat, all rolled into one—and I won’t hesitate to head back out to sea with Howard when next we return to Grenada.

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

As we motored away from St. George’s, we could see showers in the distance, and the most perfect rainbow formed above the island.

A Rainbow Over St. George's, Grenada

After we got back to land, we camped out at Coconut Beach Restaurant for the remainder of the afternoon, sipping down Caribs and noshing on fruits from the sea.

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

I think we can all agree it was the best day ever, and we were already smitten with Grenada, just 24 hours into our visit.

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park
Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park
Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Parkt
Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park
Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park
Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park
Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park


 

PIN IT HERE

Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park
Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park
Underwater Grenada: Going Deep into the Marine Sculpture Park
COMMENTS
  • March 4, 2017

    I haven’t been to Grenada yet and this post is making me want to book a trip asap! Stunning underwater scenes. I’ve only tried diving once and hope to do it again soon. Thanks for sharing!
    Kristen Kellogg recently posted..VIENNA BY DESIGN – A Guide to the Neubau DistrictMy Profile

    • March 5, 2017

      You’d LOVE it. So many interesting places and faces to photograph.

  • March 4, 2017

    I’m super impressed with Scott’s free diving abilities. I think I need to get Dive certified and we both need to work on our free diving techniques. Plan?!
    Jade recently posted..You Must Try: Ice Climbing in Mammoth LakesMy Profile

    • March 5, 2017

      I’ve been telling you that for years! Do your PADI and then you and I can take the free-diving specialty.

  • March 4, 2017

    Amazing pictures! I haven’t really been to the Caribbean at all, except in Central America, but this looks like it would be an awesome stop!

    • March 22, 2017

      I’d put Grenada at the top of your list! Then again, it might spoil the rest of the Caribbean for you, as it’s so much more authentic and verdant than many of the more well known islands.

  • March 4, 2017

    I love that I can do this without scuba diving! I’ve been working on my “free dive” skills (cause I have none!) so this will be perfect for me! Now I have to get better at my underwater photography! My boys really have to get older so they can help me with this stuff!
    Keryn [Walking On Travels] recently posted..Stretching your travel budget so you can see more of the worldMy Profile

    • March 5, 2017

      That’s awesome! You don’t even have to free dive if you don’t want; many are 25-30 feet down so you can see them from the surface. Though it definitely helps if you can hold your breath, at least for photo purposes 😉

  • March 4, 2017

    This looks like so much fun! It looks like an amazing day. I can see why you would want to dive instead of snorkel, it definitely looks like something I would want to spend a lot of time looking at as well!

    • March 5, 2017

      Doesn’t it, though, Meghan? So much to see, and with 65 sculptures I’d say we only made it to half!

  • March 4, 2017

    We did a tour with Grenada Seafaris as well – and it was fantastic! Our weather (and photos) were about as murky as yours, which we understand is fairly normal for the area. Albert was absolutely amazing – my husband is not a strong swimmer, so after he took the rest of us on the usual tour, he threw a life ring in the water and gave him a personalized tour, even diving down to bring up a sea urchin. Absolutely loved their exceptional tour!
    Christina S recently posted..Hotel Review: Four Seasons PragueMy Profile

    • March 5, 2017

      Aren’t Howard and Albert the best? We were lucky our gracious hostess Susan knew of them and booked us on their boat as we did zero research before this trip (a rarity!). I’m so glad you loved it as much as we did =)

  • March 5, 2017

    You’re right, the murky photos add some mystery. It also make the sight a bit creepier, but maybe that’s part of the charm. I’ve heard of these sculptures in Grenada and I had already added it to place I would love to go diving!
    Dominique recently posted..Kozhikode – A Two Day ItineraryMy Profile

    • March 5, 2017

      It definitely looks like something bad could have happened down there! Like a shipwreck or something.

  • March 5, 2017

    Jade’s daughter is so stinking cute! This place is pretty cool and I love the fact that you can (at least try to) access it by snorkeling since I don’t scuba dive.
    Andi recently posted..Project Discover Week #4My Profile

    • March 5, 2017

      Isn’t she? You know I don’t want kids of my own, but luckily Jade is kind enough to share Augustine with me so I can be the fun aunt to yet another adorable tot! She’s got such a great personality, too, and is an awesome traveler.

  • March 5, 2017

    That first underwater photo is amazing! So much detail for a GoPro — though you are, indeed, the GoPro pro 😉

    • March 5, 2017

      We also had the G7X Mark II with us, so I’m not sure what took which! I just assume Scott, with his gills, got most of the shots with the GoPro as my staying power is AWFUL 😉

      He wanted me to edit the photos more, but honestly it was super murky down there and this is as true to form as you’d see, only maybe a smidge greener. What can you do?

      P.S. I don’t think GoPros are awesome cameras tbh. Our Hero 3 kept completely quitting on us both times we took it out to dive and wouldn’t turn on (and it was fully charged) =/ I really only like it for skiing/snowboarding as we can mount it on Scott’s board and get some great footage as we descend.

  • March 6, 2017

    Amazing clicks, I love to read travel blogs and this underwater sculpture park is always on top of my list.Seriously this is something one should try once.

  • March 6, 2017

    Wow, I’m almost smitten by just reading your post. 😉 We’ve seen a lot of pictures of this underwater sculpture park and it has definitely made it onto our scuba diving bucket list. We didn’t know anything else about the park though, so really enjoyed reading about it and love that it provides extra surfaces for coral to grow on. Hadn’t thought about it that way! Pinned for future reference, when we make it to Grenada!
    Birthe (from Wandering the World) recently posted..How to Survive some Epic White Water Rafting in RotoruaMy Profile

    • March 10, 2017

      Oh that makes me happy to hear, Birthe! It’s such a magical place, I really do hope you make good on that promise someday 😉

  • March 6, 2017

    Kristin, Thank you so much for the awesome review – it was a pleasure having you all on board. I have passed the link onto Albert and Howard 🙂 We also have a GoPro but prefer our underwater Olympus which we rent out as colour correction is amazing on it (as can be seen on all our facebook pics. Thanks again and we hope to welcome you all on board again soon. xx

    • March 10, 2017

      Albert and Howard were amazing guides. We had such a blast with them and can’t wait to come back!

      Not a GoPro fan to be honest. Some of these were taken with our Canon GX7 Mark II. Definitely superior to any of the Heros!

  • March 6, 2017

    That last closeup statue shot is a little too realistic…or maybe I watch too much NCIS 😉

    I’ve never tried free-diving, I’m such a chicken when it comes to water, I’m amazed that I even snorkel!
    Leigh recently posted..Visiting Chicago’s ChinatownMy Profile

    • March 10, 2017

      I’m really bad at free-diving, as well! Not scared, just cannot hold my breath for the life of me. =/

  • March 10, 2017

    Kristin, what an awesome trip! I’m jealous. This underwater sculpture park is definitely worth a (dive) trip. Great photos. Thanks for sharing!
    James recently posted..Cressi Giotto Dive Computer ReviewMy Profile

    • March 22, 2017

      It was truly an amazing vacation!

  • March 11, 2017

    Hi,
    Those are amazing photos I love them – Well done and the post is well written
    Well done and Thanks for sharing!

  • March 20, 2017

    SO COOL! I am amazed by this!

    xox
    Feisty Harriet recently posted..If we went to lunch…My Profile

    • March 22, 2017

      Right? On a tiny island like Grenada at that!

  • June 17, 2017

    I may or may not have clicked on your article specifically because it has “mermaid” in the title hahaha! I love this, and your pictures are gorgeous! I’m adding this to my bucket list! (Though, like you, I’m not sure if I’ll run out of air by the time I reach the bottom lol. And was there a lot of pressure on your head that far down as well? I think I’d be worried about that more than the air lol — 40 feet seems pretty deep. I remember feeling like my head was gonna explode once when I was a kid and dove to the bottom of a 20 ft deep swimming pool. But that was a long time ago). Love, love, love this though! So thanks! <3
    Jillian Michelle recently posted..College of Wizardry Course Guide – Here’s a detailed guide to the 13 classes you can study at the real life Hogwarts Castle in PolandMy Profile

    • June 29, 2017

      I didn’t feel a lot of pressure! I just can’t hold my breath that long 😉 You just have to learn to equalize by cinching your nose and blowing out to pop your ears.

  • June 20, 2017

    Amazing diving photos, this underwater sculpture park seems quite spectacular! I have tried several nautical sports but never free diving. I am working for an events company in London where we list several trips and travel related events, and reading them inspires me to seek for new activities to try on my vacation. Grenada is definitely on my travel bucket list.

    • June 29, 2017

      Thank you, Juliette! Lucky for you, London has a direct flight to Grenada 😉

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

GET MY POSTS DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX
+ Sign up and receive your free copy of my eBook